By: William Holmes
The Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey was the host for tonight’s NBC Sports Network’s Fight Night Series. Fight fans were treated to an entertaining undercard, including a shocking upset by Darnell Wilson over the previously undefeated David Rodriguez with a vicious left hook knockout with one second left in the fight. Rodriguez was up on the scorecards at the time of the stoppage and would have won a decision victory if he was able to survive just one more second. Former cruiserweight world champion Steve “USS” Cunningham also fought on the undercard, and he got back to his winning ways with a one sided eight round decision over Manuel Quezada.
Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini was in attendance in Atlantic City. A documentary based on his life entitled, “The Good Son: The Ray Mancini Story” was broadcast on NBC Sports immediately following the fight.
By the start of the televised portion of the card the arena was close to capacity. The first televised bout of the night was between Ryan Coyne (21-1) and Lionell Thompson (14-2) in the light heavyweight division.
Coyne is a southpaw and he looked to be the stronger fighter of the two, but Thompson established early on that he was the quicker and more elusive fighter. Thompson’s jab was landing at will in the first round and was by far more active.
He was able to counter Coyne nearly every time he rushed in during the second round, but his activity dropped in the third round. Coyne had a decent body attack in the third round but his offense disappeared in the fourth.
Most of Coyne’s punches were landing on the arms of Thompson in the middle rounds and he was unable to launch any type of effective attack. Thompson looked confident when he fought on the outside and he was picking Coyne apart with his jab and quick two punch combinations.
Coyne had a cut underneath his left eye in the fifth round and was taking some hard combinations from Thompson. They exchanged words at the end of the fifth round. Thompson stayed with his game plan from the sixth round to the end and simply out boxed and out maneuvered Coyne.
Coyne clearly needed the knockout in the last two rounds to win the fight but he was unable to do so. Lionell Thompson won the decision victory with scores of 99-90, 99-91, 99-91 on all three scorecards.
The main event of the night was between undefeated heavyweight Amir “Hardcore” Mansour (19-0) and Kelvin Price (14-1). Price has previously been in the ring with Deontay Wilder while Mansour has become sort of a local phenomenon by dominating the club scene.
This was a big step up in competition for Mansour and the first time he could showcase his talent on national television.
Mansour was significantly shorter than Price and started off the fight by attacking the body of Price. Price tied up with Mansour whenever he got in close and often kept a straight left arm in the face of Mansour to keep him at bay. Mansour eventually responded by punching the elbows of Price to keep him from extending it.
There was a wild exchange in the second round early on and Mansour appeared to get the better of Price. Mansour did well when he attacked the body but had a hard time finding the right range to touch Price’s chin.
The third round was close, but Mansour had an excellent fourth rand. He connected with a vicious left hook in the fourth round that wobbled Price but didn’t knock him down. Mansour connected with another hook in the fifth round that did knock Price down, but he was able to hold on when he got back to his feet and survive.
The action in the ring slowed down in the fifth round but picked right back up in the seventh round. Mansour started off the round by backing up and trying to lure Price into a trap. Price was able to land a thudding right hand but Mansour later answered with a right hook that knocked Price down violently. Price was wobbly when he got back to his feet and the fight could have been stopped then but the referee allowed it to continue. Mansour punctuated his dominant sixth round with a hard straight right hand near the end of the round.
The referee checked on Price before the start of the seventh round and rightly decided to end the fight.
Amir Mansour wins by TKO over Kelvin Price at the end of the seventh round.
Mansour might not be the best technical boxer, but he has the kind of power that fight fans love and will pay to see.
Undercard Quick Results
Trent Laidler (0-0-1) fought Vincent Floyd (0-0-1) to a draw with scores for 40-35 Laidler, 38-37 Floyd, and 38-38 in the middleweight division.
Darnell Wilson (25-17-3) earned a stunning knockout over David Rodriguez (36-1) at 2:59 of round six in the heavyweight division.
Steve Cunningham (26-6) won a decision over Manuel Quezada (29-8) with scores of 80-72 on all three scorecards in the heavyweight division.
John Magda (4-0) won a decision over Jess Noriega (2-9) in the middleweight division with scores of 60-54, 60-54, 60-53.